Posts Tagged With: nursing home ministry

Hallelujah, New Verses, New Version

Yesterday I shared the song Hallelujah on the piano at a nursing home. I had written some new verses for this song and talked about one of them with the group. As I spoke about the inspiration behind it, I was deeply moved. Here is the verse:

“Those who’ve been forgiven more,
Respond with love to the Lord,
So remember all the grace He’s given to ya,
He pursues you when you go astray,
When you choose wrong and lose your way,
Forgiveness gives you back your Hallelujah!”

The Inspiration:

hallelujah-squirrel.png editedOnce while Jesus was dining at the home of Simon, a religious leader, a woman who had a reputation for living a sinful life walked into Simon’s house. She stood at Jesus feet and sobbed in Christ’s loving presence. She was so moved and grateful for the grace, redemption, and lack of judgement she had found with Jesus that she washed his feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.

She even kissed Jesus feet and anointed them with expensive perfume. I was so overwhelmed as I spoke of how Jesus heart must have gone out to her… but then, sadly, this was compromised and soiled by Simon’s judgmental attitude toward the woman.

So Jesus told Simon a story about a king who forgave a man a smaller debt and another man a larger debt. Who do you think loved the king more?

Answer: The one who was forgiven more.

Jesus responds:

“I tell you, her sins–and they are many–have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Luke 7:47 NLT

Read more about that story and hear my two year old sing the song Hallelujah!

I suppose the reason I get emotional over that story is because I can so relate to being the prodigal who has been warmly welcomed home by a loving heavenly Papa. This woman’s story is the prodigal son story fleshed out in a real life event in Jesus life. The woman is the prodigal and the religious leader was the older brother. We all ought to celebrate the grace and redemption of Jesus and then, like the Father does, gently and lovingly urge the “older brothers” among us to join the party!

Here is a Ukelele version of this brand new take on the song. It has a new melody and everything!

More Nursing Home Ministry Update:

My ministry concerts just keep getting better and better. My wife asks me how my concert went day after day and my reply has been for a while now, “It was the best one yet”!

A year ago I had a desire to be able to start incorporating piano into my concerts. Now I have enough really nice arrangements of piano songs in my repertoire to fill up an hour or more and have written a few songs on the piano as well. I love it!

I wanted to learn to play Be Thou My Vision on the piano because it is such a beautiful and powerful song. Read the song story here! The first time I decided to try Be Thou My Vision on the piano at a concert I figured that I would just play block chords which I was confident I could do. Instead I was amazed when I played all this arpeggiation and how the song had such flow and feeling. It was a great feeling to have communicated the song so well!

I shared Be Thou My Vision recently in Sheboygan and one lady talked with me afterwords. “That was one of my most favorite hymns. Thank you for sharing that. I am so glad I came down and I almost missed it. I enjoyed it so thoroughly even though I am in such incredible pain!” she said as she gripped my hand.

It blessed my heart so much recently at my concert in Milwaukee when one lady afterwords said, “I just feel so full of God! I just feel so full of God!” And this after I shared with her the “Leonard Nimoy blessing” and talked about what God’s Name, El Shaddai, means. From my studies it indicates that God is the One who fully satisfies our hearts. All our longings, desires, needs, and dreams. God satisfies them all!

It is interesting to think that this is why there is absolutely no reason to sin. To sin is not to trust and to look elsewhere to meet your “needs” or to find your identity in something less than God our Good Shepherd. If Jesus is your Good Shepherd, he takes such good care of his sheep that they lie down in green pastures. You, an ignorant helpless sheep, have all that you need, you are so full of blessing to the point that your lying down at rest with all this lush provision all around you. Your thirst is so satisfied in God and the peace he gives calms your heart and mind, your cup runs over with blessing!

I’d suggest for us all to read and meditate on Psalm 23 NLT:

The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
forever.

Categories: Forgiveness, Gospel, Grace, Redemption | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gift of Music!

reflect_amazing_grace_cover_220x200We are now offering both of our Hymns albums as free downloads ( Just Click on the CD cover on right), for you to enjoy! These albums contain many of the most well loved Hymns of the faith, like Amazing Grace, In the Garden, and Old Rugged Cross, etc… All we ask is that you to share this gift of music!

Our ultimate goal is to get this music to people in nursing homes everywhere to  bring some encouragement to them and also to bring comfort to those in their last moments in hospice care. (See testimonies below) Will you help us

We need your help!

Here are a few ways you can help:

1.) Will you share this link on your Facebook to spread the word about what we are trying to accomplish?

Copy and paste this link from our website:

http://reflectworship.com/nursing-home-ministry/send-hymns-to-nursing-homes/

or these “noise trade” links:

Reflect Amazing Grace: http://noisetrade.com/Reflectworship/reflect-amazing-grace

or, for the Reflect Hymn: http://noisetrade.com/Reflectworship/reflect-hymn

2.) Do you have a loved one or know someone in a nursing home? Please download the music, put it on a CD, and send it to them!

Of course you can also purchase our Hymns CD’s at our online store (or at Lighthouse Christian Books in Green Bay, WI), and bring a copy to someone in a nursing home!

3.) Do you know someone who works at a nursing home? Please send this message to them!

4.) Donate to our ministry so we can continue supplying albums for free to nursing homes. Donate button at our website: www.reflectworship.com

Send a Reflect Hymn or a Reflect, Amazing Grace album to a Nursing Home or Hospice care giver today!

You can also go to www.reflect.bandcamp.com to begin downloading.

Be sure to download both albums! Enjoy!

TESTIMONIES:

Since its release, I have been sending out the “Reflect Hymn” CD to various Nursing home facilities throughout Northeast Wisconsin and recently I received back this report about how the Reflect Hymn project is being used:

“Daniel, Having a chance encounter with an old friend who works the night shift at our local nursing facility, I wanted to share with you her comments about your music.

She told me that a copy of your music on CD; Reflect Hymn, appeared at their nurses station, and that they had been playing and enjoying the music.  However, she said the greatest benefit seemed to come when your music was played exclusively in the rooms of those patients who were experiencing their last days.  She told how the staff all remarked that such a great sense of peace seemed to envelop the room and the people in attendance, that they have a policy of always playing this music for such times as this as it provides such comfort.

I thought you might want to know this, since I know you send out these CD’s as a sample of your work when booking concerts at various Nursing Homes.  Even though this facility has never had you there in person, your music is being used and valued, which I just ‘happened’ to find out a few weeks ago during my ‘chance encounter’.

Blessings, Cindie”

I was so moved when I received this report. What an awesome blessing! I would love to see every nursing home throughout Northeast Wisconsin to receive a Reflect Hymn album for their use for the above mentioned purpose, or to use for a church service or bible study, or even just for music therapy. If this is something that you would also like to see happen please donate toward this ministry.

Here is another letter I received:

Hi Daniel…

Recently you came to Shady Lane Nursing Home here in Manitowoc to entertain the residents and I was in attendance with my mother who was a resident there at the time. She just passed away this past Thursday March 25th. I bought one of your CDs and played it for her every night when she was drifting off to sleep. This past week when she had slipped into a deep sleep on comfort care at Shady Lane I played it in her room….it was very soothing. I think the staff at Shady Lane enjoyed it as well. I plan to give these CDs away as a result. If it is alright with you I would like to play it next to her coffin at the funeral.

Thank you.

A Recent Encounter (2015):

I was about to go in and entertain at a nursing home when a lady stopped me and asked, “I am a hospice nurse and I have your Reflect Hymn CD. I use it so often that it doesn’t play anymore. Do you have another one with you?”

I was able to provide her the Reflect Hymn album and also our latest Hymn project Reflect, Amazing Grace. She was on her way to someone who was passing away that very day.

Thank you for listening,

Daniel Lovett

Categories: Nursing Home Ministry, Reflect Worship Music, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Nursing Home Ministry (The Early Days)

Wow. I am amazed! The Lord has been so good to me. I have now been serving nursing homes with “spiritually enriching entertainment” for eight years now. I wanted to share the story about how that all began for me in late November 2006.

Early summer of 2006 the Lord distinctly told me, “Get ready”. Get ready for what? I asked. I had no idea. I was working as a framing carpenter at the time, and recovering from a very serious depression (despair is a more accurate word) that had taken me down for seven long years. I had also been continuing to lead worship with my wife in church on a fairly regular basis.

By the end of August my body was telling me it’s time to move on from construction. My wrists throbbed in pain every night. So I got a delivery job with Dunham express.

While out on my deliveries, some of our stops included Nursing homes. Every time I stepped into one I had a very strong impression that I would like to come share music with these people. My heart went out to them. Fast forward to November and my job was now ending. I had also just met Eddie Bieber who for time had entertained at nursing homes for a living. Intriguing… So I mustered up my courage and started cold calling facilities to sell my services as an entertainer.

I knew I was going to specialize in Gospel music. The problem was that I knew five or less Gospel songs that would relate to this audience and I needed to fill up an hour with relevant music. (Speaking their language musically is VERY important. If you play a song that you happen like and no one claps and then one lady hesitantly says, “That was… interesting”, it means that song did not go over well.) I went to work learning the Hymns of the faith.

I started to get a few bookings a week and honestly I didn’t want any more than that at the time. I knew I wasn’t very good yet and would soon “work myself out of a job” if I played more nursing homes and my name became attached to poor performances. I continued to improve musically and vocally and maintained some part time work over the next couple years.

Once I got a handle on what were some of the most loved hymns of those in this area, (and developed a few favorites myself), I went to work recording a Hymns album to leave for the residents.

Reflect Hymn CD (click on the CD cover to listen to this album)

I am pleased to say that our Reflect Hymn album is now in most every nursing Home and Assisted living facility throughout Northeast Wisconsin! It is still being used to comfort the dying, as a prelude to Bible studies and services, and sometimes as dinner time music. It blesses me so much to hear how God has been using this album especially when I walk into a facility and a lady with dementia is humming along to it as she sits next to the CD player playing our album. I was told she does this every day by a nurse, who also asks me if I have a new music? Please?!?!

I am so pleased to say that we now do!

I love our new hymns project which we entitled “Reflect, Amazing Grace”. This album features mainly my wife’s vocal talents and her unique piano arrangement of the most beloved and well known hymn of all time, Amazing Grace:

Our goal now is to get this album into every nursing home in Northeast Wisconsin. We are slowly but surely doing just that. If you’d like to help fund this operation you can donate to our ministry at our website: www.reflectworship.com

Here our my journal entries from that first month of Nursing Home ministry which I was pleased to find the other day:

1/4/07

I was at the Fransiscan Nursing Home today and was so blown away by what happened there. There was this woman in the back with her aged mother, and her mother was so touched by the Hymns that she was moved to tears, and then the daughter was moved to tears by her mom and then I was nearly moved to tears watching them both. It is people like that who are so moved and blessed by the music and simple truths in these Hymns that guide me to an appreciation for them myself. I had once again the most profound sense that this is what I’m meant to do. I love it so much…

It makes me think that all those years singing in church, learning new songs, honing my craft was for this. This is the real deal… the other was a biding of time till now.

Thought for the day:

“My being good does not validate God. He remains unchanged. Yet he created us… “

12-20-06

I am in a bit of a spiritual quandary recently. I am content. I am at peace. I am trusting God’s grace when there is most reason not to. This is an entirely new experience for me and quite frankly, I am not sure how I should feel about it.

For as long as I can remember, I never measured up and I was constantly depressed about it and in a funk… but now it doesn’t even matter. I am still a big time loser/sinner (I just spent the last week avoiding God because of a foolish rebellious thing I had chosen to do) but now I don’t have to measure up or feel accepted based on what I do… I feel his delight because of simply who he is. Love.

I have been spending time recently in Christian inspiration section at Barnes and Noble. I order a large coffee and just sit there and try not to cry as waves of God’s blessing soothe and comfort my soul. I don’t even quite know why I have been selected to be blessed like this. It hasn’t always been this way.

The other day I was a Nursing home doing a Christmas concert and one of the ladies in the back shouted out, “I love you!” I could hardly restrain the emotion that came to me when she said it and I had difficulty getting through the next song. It was as if God were whispering the words in my ear and I was melting.

After that concert as I sat in a coffee shop reading Donald Miller’s “Blue Like Jazz” I wrote this poem:

You stir my soul
Deep with the knowing,
The feeling of your love…
I am moved in waves of reassurance,
Of your kind look,
Of your notice of me…
Broken I let loose
The tightness in my chest,
The tears come,
Tears of joy,
And not of sorrow;
For I have found you,
And the sweetness of your comfort
thank you.

(If you’d like t listen to the song I recorded of this poem, click here: https://reflectworship.bandcamp.com/album/reflect-b-sides-the-still-waters-of-gods-love)

But as nice as this is, I can’t stop here or leave it at that. I don’t know if you remember one of the final scenes in “The Never-ending Story”, when the Indian boy is faced with this challenge to make it through this gate. Many brave warriors and knights have tried and failed… they were killed by these sentry guards with laser eyes or something… it’s a vague memory by now, having seen it so many years ago, and I am not going to go to all the trouble to see it again just to be accurate with this illustration.

My point is this: what did they need to pass the guards and get thru this gate?
Faith. Confidence.

I am beginning to realize the great predicament all men are in… we are at God’s mercy, yet so many of us misunderstand him. We think that if we all band together we can somehow outwit him or something… as if to say, “well we are all doing these things worthy of death and it’s now socially acceptable. You won’t condemn us all? Will You?”

This is not coming out right … this is the great misunderstanding. Can you imagine Love wanting to Judge you? Condemn you? I can only imagine Love, well, loving you. Yet love won’t let criminals run rampant. How do I convey what I see in my minds eye?

We are going to die. We will face our Maker at that time. Are you afraid or will you gladly welcome it? I don’t know how to answer that one myself. You see, based on everything I grew up around I would say I am pretty much screwed. But my heart tells me otherwise. I have a peace that passes all understanding. I, who am not even a good Christian, who am selfish and irreverent and given to addictions of the flesh, who drinks a beer while he reads his bible (on the rare occasions that I do read my bible – at least at the time of this writing) have peace. A peace that makes no sense because I didn’t earn it. Now that’s not to say I should just be content in my sinful state, by all means I should “improve” and be obedient and overcome the misunderstandings I have of my Maker.

The thing is, if you read my biography – the real and honest gut-wrenching one, not the cleaned up and sanitized one that might actually sell (hey, my mom might buy one), you wouldn’t like me. You couldn’t possibly. There isn’t anything attractive in a sinful man, but as a lady (who had died of polio but was sent back by God cause it wasn’t her time) told me, “Jesus is the most handsomest man I have ever met, the kindest, most gentle, and wonderful…” and I can’t remember any more of the adjectives that she attached to her description of him.

But let’s face it. He is who is really what is truly most attractive about any one of us. His activity in our lives. His Spirit at work in us.

(Incidentally, this is why our band name is “Reflect”. It comes from a verse that ends like this: “…that we might be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord, and as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we will reflect his glory even more.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT*)

12-21-06

I walked into a nursing home today to play a Christmas concert as the coroner was wheeling a not so empty body bag out the door. I was going to say a person in a body bag but that isn’t quite true anymore. I wondered as I played and tried to bring some Christmas cheer if it was weighing on anyone’s mind.

At one time I was going to collect wise sayings from my visits to nursing homes and write a book with the title, “wisdom from death’s door”. That is really just for shock value. I am not really that heartless… which I will of course explain in the first few pages of the book. But aren’t we all really at deaths door? Just a heartbeat and a breath away from death… it’s amazing that any of us are alive. I am so happy. Do you know why?

Cause I’m getting to know God and learning to trust him and I realize that life and death are in his hands so death really isn’t that big of a deal… of course this isn’t probably what I would say to someone grieving a lost loved one, but it has some merit.

I had this weird dream that I was fly-fishing and I caught a big rainbow trout, only it had a girls head attached to it. As I reeled it in this man standing next to me said, “Oh, looks like you’ve caught my daughter”. I didn’t know how to feel about this, and I’m not one to waste good fish meat so I was putting the fish in a bucket of water and debating about whether to put this man’s daughter out of her misery with a knife, so she wouldn’t suffer. It kind of sheds new light on that passage where Jesus said to Peter the fisherman, from now on you will catch men…. Or not.

How do you think a person might feel upon arriving to a nursing home and being assigned a room where God knows how many have died before?

‘They took me to that place they said they never would. My own flesh and blood. A burden. Old. Neglected. They have their own lives now, their own kids. Don’t they know that one day they will be me? How will their children care for them?

I arrived to the room assigned for me. Like a cheep hotel or hospital room. How many have died here I wonder.

The room smells. This is not my home…’

It was neat to come across this old journal entry and see what God has done. If you’d like to support our ministry, buy a CD, download our music or donate at our website: www.reflectworship.com

Categories: Nursing Home Ministry | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Paige with an “i”

The following is a story from my nursing home ministry. I really respect the privacy of those I serve and so I only post stories with the actual persons names if they have passed away.

I met Paige (that’s spelled with an ‘i’ she points out to me) in Green Bay. (I later learned that her full name was Catherine Paige). When I met her she was 97 years old, born in 1909. She told me she grew up in Illinois on a farm. Later, she lived up in the Marrinette area.

She grew up in a Christian home she says. She knows right from wrong. She tells me that she loves people. She doesn’t like to talk about herself and I suspect that is because it hasn’t been the easiest 97 years. I sensed that she was really broken, and now… lonely. She is a really sweet lady who made quite an impression on me. She “adopted me” as her grandchild and says that I am a good Christian boy. She asks me “why did you come here? Do I know someone? Do you have family here that you visit?” I tell her, “No, just you Paige. I came for you.”

Being around that kind of love is something special. She is very affectionate always holding your hand or putting her hand on your arm…that kind of thing. You get a sense that when you’re with her that she delights in you. She says that young people need to learn how to live right and make good choices and follow God’s path.

She started to tell me about her son, that he is away in California and never visits. She tells me about her kids who aren’t following God and the tears come. I hold her hand and look into her face as she cries for them and tells me, “ I just wish they knew, I just wish they knew.” And then with a resigned sigh she says, “But it doesn’t do any good to get all emotional about it.”

“God hears your sighs and counts your tears,” I tell her. “I never heard that expression before”, she says and starts to smile. “O yes it’s true, he knows every last tear.”

I look forward to seeing Paige every time I visit – which isn’t often enough. Every time I come for a visit I look for her, sometimes she rolls in a bit late during my concert and I greet her and she always has something real nice to say like, “I wish there were more young people like you sharing the love of Jesus”. She comments also about how lovely it is to hear Gospel music.

——–

“The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; Devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; They find rest as they lie in death.”  Isaiah 57:1-2

April 9th, 2010 – I was looking forward to seeing Catherine Paige again today. I arrived and was informed by one of the residents, “your friend passed away”.

“Paige?” I asked. “Yes.” She had just turned 100 this last summer. “That’s too bad.” I said. I realized that I had a responsibility to the rest of them to play my best and encourage them the best I could.

Later in my set I took a moment to talk about Catherine and dedicated a song that moved me when I first heard it. The song is “Abide with Me”.

“Abide with me, fast falls the eventide.
The darkness deepens, Lord, with me abide.
When other helper’s fail, and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me!”

I love that last line because I often feel quite helpless and it is such a comfort to know God is my help.

After the concert a man wheels up to me, and, as a tear fell from his eye, he says to me, “that was beautiful.”

Catherine Paige was an example of love to all who knew her.  I hope some of those “young people” are listening. (I wonder who would qualify as “young people” to one who is a hundred years old?) Your grandma says, “Learn to live right and make good choices.”

catherinepaige

ps. Please pray for our Hymn CD we are currently recording (which happens to include Abide With Me). We want to send it out to all the Nursing homes in Northeast Wisconsin. If you would like to donate toward making that a reality, you can donate at our website: www.reflectworship.com

Thanks for listening, Daniel

Categories: Death, Legacy, Love of God | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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